SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Zeus Kerravala | December 29, 2013 |

 
   

ZK Research Predictions for 2014

ZK Research Predictions for 2014 Look for video to be strong, Polycom to rebound, and network management to be a growth area--finally.

Look for video to be strong, Polycom to rebound, and network management to be a growth area--finally.

Well, it's that time of year again. I've broken out my snow blower, decked the halls, wrapped (and opened) presents--now it's time to put on my Kreskin hat and predict the future of unified communications. Drum roll please...

Video Communications Rebounds
In some ways I'm cheating on this prediction because I don't think video usage has actually declined at all, other than in perception. The research firms show the video conferencing market as flat, and hardware revenue may be flat, but utilization rates are through the roof.

Frankly I think it's time we looked at different metrics to determine market share and market size, such as a combination of hardware, software and services. I recently finished a survey asking the question, "How do you expect the utilization of video communications will change over the next 12 months?" and a whopping 90% expect an increase in utilization, with 68% projecting an increase of 10% or more.

There's no question that video is at an all-time high, and I believe the spend is healthy as well. It's just the growth areas are in software and services. In 2014 though, the increased usage of video should drive sales back to hardware as companies start to build "huddle rooms" and look to add more multi-party video into the business.

UC Management Heats Up
I'm aware that I've predicted this before, but I do believe this time we will actually see the market take off. First, if I keep predicting it, I'll eventually be right. More importantly though, the complexity of UC systems and the desire for multi-vendor solutions are at all-time highs. To deal with this, there is a plethora of management vendors that address different parts of UC management--including vendors such as VOSS, Riverbed, Netscout, Action Packed Networks and Unimax.

The down side of UC management is that there isn't a complete solution, and organizations will need to use two to three vendors to manage the lifecycle of UC. Hopefully we'll start to see some M&A activity in this market so vendors can bring broader offerings to market.

Good Makes Good
In mid 2013, I ran a survey on BYOD trends with ZK Research media partner Tech Target. In it, we asked organizations who their preferred mobile management vendor is, and unsurprisingly, there was no de facto leader. Instead we have a number of companies all jockeying for mindshare. I predict that in 2014, Good will leverage its collaboration suite and application development tools to break away from the pack of other mobile management vendors and establish itself as the company to beat.

Cisco's Focus Pays Off
The collaboration business unit at Cisco has been meandering now for the last couple of years. Rowan Trollope was appointed the GM of collaboration in late 2012 to fix this, and he has been relatively quiet as to what his plans are. At Collaboration Summit, he shared some ideas around how collaboration needs to evolve at Cisco--easy to use, easy to buy, fully integrated, etc. I believe in 2014 we'll see Trollope's work pay off and order growth for collaboration pick up next year.

Polycom Surprises On The Upside
Contrary to popular belief, video isn't dead. Far from it. The technology is alive and kicking, and is seeing record utilization within companies. It only appears that the market is flat for the reasons I pointed out earlier.

As I mentioned before in my 2013 wrap-up blog, video usage begets video usage, and the increased utilization of desktop and mobile video will drive organizations to upgrade room-based and immersive systems. Polycom appears to have everything set up for a strong 2014--CloudAxis will be generally available, virtual products are on the roadmap, and the company has a great relationship with Microsoft and will be one of the big benefactors of the Lync wave. Expect Polycom to surprise many by putting up growth numbers in the mid to high single digits as it starts to transition the company away from a video-focused company to a collaboration provider.

UCaaS Explodes
The last few years have already seen a significant increase in the number of UCaaS (UC as a Service) offerings from tier 1 service providers and UCaaS pure plays. In 2014, we'll see systems integrators and VARs leverage products such as Cisco's Business Edition 6K and Avaya's Collaboration Pod to roll out their own cloud offerings. These validated, integrated products enable almost any company to become a UC cloud provider, increasing competitiveness and innovation in this space. I also believe a few years ago, most VARs weren't comfortable with a business model based on recurring revenue, but that barrier appears to have fallen. Cloud UC will be the next big competitive market.

Enterprise Connect 2014 Will Have A Record Number Of New Sponsors
The shift to software, cloud and mobility has opened the door for many new competitors to jump into the collaboration space. I believe this trend will be reflected at Enterprise Connect 2014, as we should have a record number of "new" sponsors--that is, companies that weren't at the show five years ago. The broader ecosystem is good for everyone, as new companies bring new ideas and more innovation into this industry. I'm certainly looking forward to Orlando (I thought I'd never hear myself say that).

Unless something big happens over the next couple of weeks, this should be my last blog posting for 2013. I want to thank everyone who followed my blogs, and I sincerely appreciated the feedback--good and bad. I'd like to also thank site editors and fellow bloggers Eric Krapf and Fred Knight for all the hard work they do keeping the site up and running.

Happy Holidays everyone and see you in 2014!

Follow Zeus Kerravala on Twitter and Google+!
@zkerravala
Zeus Kerravala on Google+





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.